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Booster Dose Likely to Get Nod as Clinical Trials Find 20% Vaccinated Have No Antibodies: Institute of Life Sciences Director

A woman receives a dose of COVAXIN in India. (Reuters)

A woman receives a dose of COVAXIN in India. (Reuters)

The trials also found that the antibody level was seen to come down after four to six months in many people, vaccinated with both the doses.

Booster dose may be given to vaccinated people with lower antibody levels as 20 percent of the inoculated people have failed to develop antibodies against Covid-19, an expert has said.

According to a report in The New Indian Express, around 23 percent of the faculty members of a research unit in Bhubaneswar were found to be antibody negative during a recent study after two doses of vaccine against Coronavirus.

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Dr Ajay Parida, Director of Bhubaneswar-based Institute of Life Sciences (ILS) suggested that the booster dose will be given to those with lower antibodies and said, “Though the antibody level is 30,000 to 40,000 in some Covid infected people, it is below 50 in significant number of vaccinated individuals. If the antibody level is 60 to 100, then we can say the person is antibody positive.”

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The Bhubaneswar-based institute is a part of Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genome Consortium (INSACOG), a network of 28 labs across the country equipped to sequence genomes of the coronavirus for emerging variants.

The report also stated that the antibody level was seen to come down after four to six months in many people, vaccinated with both the doses. Ajay Parida said that the booster dose is required for those having low or negative antibodies despite full vaccination.

He also said that the clinical study is in its final stage and added that the efficacy of Indian vaccines- Covishield and Covaxin is about 70-80 percent which indicates that around 20-30 percent of those vaccinated may not develop antibodies.

Parida added that ICMR may approve the booster dose based on the outcome of the clinical trial. “Trial is on whether the booster dose will be Covaxin for people vaccinated with Covishield and vice-versa or Sputnik V for people vaccinated with either Covaxin or Covishield. The study is expected to be over in a week,” he reportedly said.

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WHO has put the booster dose on hold as more countries catch up with vaccination as there is an alarming vaccine gap between high-income and low-income countries, recommendation for boosters is expected anytime soon.

Over 73.73 crore Covid vaccine doses have been administered in the country so far, the Union Health Ministry said on Saturday. A total of 64,49,552 vaccine doses were administered till 7 pm on Saturday.

The daily vaccination tally is expected to increase with the compilation of the final reports for the day by late night, the ministry said. The vaccination exercise as a tool to protect the most vulnerable population groups in the country from COVID-19 continues to be regularly reviewed and monitored at the highest level, it added.

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first published:September 12, 2021, 10:05 IST